Managing Nerves On Stage
Updated: Apr 10, 2019
Don't let your fear prevent you from shining
So many of the people I coach and work with are absolute delights to speak with- yet they fear speaking. All of a sudden when a stage is involved their wonderful selves disappear. Fear not, there are mental ways to overcome these roadblocks so that the beautiful, wonderful you that you are can shine.
Talk to the group as if you're talking to a friend over coffee.
Whenever I'm in front of rooms of 10, 30 or even 1,000 people - I speak to all of them the same exact way. As if they are one person only. We don't freeze up when we are sitting across from a friend for coffee right? We carry on conversation about all types of topics including work, workouts, and that annoying cashier at Trader Joe's who keeps hitting on us in the checkout line.
Authorize Your Authenticity and Treat The Room as One Person
Give yourself permission to be 100% you. 100% you is wonderful, and you can trust that based on the validation of your loved ones, friends, family, and furry family if you have them (as a Latina I have both furry 4 legged family and furry human family). Why would you speak any differently simply because a raised platform is underneath you and some more faces are in the room? Remove the judgment and be you.
Change Your Inner Self Talk With Affirmations
Notice what you're saying to yourself internally before a speech? Notice how your body feels. Tense? Anxious? Gassy?
Our brains are so strong and our minds can create harmony or a flight response. Let's choose harmony. Deep breathing really does work to slow our heart rates and relax the body when the anxiety starts to hit. And new self talk makes a world of difference to empower you.
The basic way to replace the negative inner self talk should look something like this:
"I'm a loser, I'm an imposter, no one wants to hear what I have to say..."
"What if I forget something or stumble on my words?"
"What if these people judge me and I can never show my face here again?"
One of my favorite ways to negate these inner bullies is to write down a few affirmations in this format - you can even record them as an audio in your phone to listen to before you have to speak as you do your slow breathing:
I am worthy, valuable and loved by (insert people who love, admire, look up to you) and this audience will connect with me and see that in the same way my loved ones do.
I am here for a reason and deserve the opportunity to share ( insert what you're speaking on) with this audience
I have prepared to the best of my ability and I trust myself that I know how to change up what I'm saying or answer questions on the fly about (insert topic you're speaking on) in the same way I can have a conversation with (insert people you feel comfortable having conversations with)
Everyone has some level of nerves before public speaking. The more you practice, the sooner they will lessen and it gets easier over time.